Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scottish independence: Devo-max option ‘could leave 2014 vote snarled in endless wrangling, time to be Braveheart rather than Faintheart!

Dear All

One singer one song; is a phrase sometimes used when people are steaming drunk.

The same concept could be applied to the Scottish independence referendum, one referendum; one question.

The idea of devo max is attractive to the Scottish National Party as a fallback position so the leadership can show something to its members to justify their efforts.

It is also seen an election gimmick by many, of the SNP doing their ‘standing up for Scotland’ number for 2016.

Devo max doesn’t have a political mandate at the ballot box, and it is something which Alex Salmond cannot deliver to the people.

Anything to do with more powers for Holyrood rests at Westminster, and the SNP has only six MPs out of the 650 in the House of Commons.

The tail cannot wag the dog.

The devo max option has run out of political steam, the longer Alex Salmond tries to hedge his bets, the weaker he looks and less stable his position becomes.

Down the road at Westminster, there isn’t brotherly love for Salmond, so his demands will be ignored and of course if he tries to go two questions without section 30, he stands a chance of legal action.

And if it goes to the UK Supreme Court, they will strike it down, and the defence of right of self determination nonsense won’t wash, he doesn’t have the legal case and he doesn’t have the moral case for devo max.

Westminster will cite the 2010 election.

The ability to present a legal argument doesn’t mean that you have a valid legal argument.

So, we have the situation that the Scottish government has no mandate to hold an independence referendum with a second question on increased Holyrood powers.

Alex Salmond got that titbit courtesy of a Commons report.

Scottish ministers in public ministers have said their preference is for a single question on independence in the 2014 referendum.

What they also say they are listening to ‘civic’ Scotland, if you don’t know who ‘civic’ Scotland in part is, that is SNP members who form wee groups and give themselves a name plus others who stand to benefit from climbing on the SNP bandwagon for their advantage.

And that isn’t a secret.

So rather than wasting everyone time trying to be clever, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon should accept reality, because people can see right through them.

It’s all or nothing; and if you lose then accept it and plan again.

June 2018 is my preferred date based on changes to the SNP and Scottish Government.

In October the question may become academic if NATO isn’t passed, that vote if it goes wrong, effectively signals the end of the campaign.

I am willing to give a speech in favour NATO, the SNP just have to ask me, because the SNP doesn’t have excellent debates.

Of course the campaign will continue but it will be a joke campaign that Yes Scotland will be running, no campaign can run when both feet are shot at the start of the race.

The Scottish Affairs Committee is currently comprised entirely of MPs from the three major pro-union parties, the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, the SNP member claims she was threatened and left.

Unfortunately for her credibility, she has no witnesses and no evidence and no Police complaint.

And the SNP never replaced her which was a mistake on their part; therefore any objections aren’t part of the official record.

So rather having an official objection, we have nothing.

Another reason why devo max isn’t getting on the ballot paper is to make solid the no vote.

So, the question really comes down to, does Alex Salmond believe in his product?

If the answer is yes, get on with one question, if the answer is no, we will hear more of devo max from the SNP ‘listening’ to SNP supporters in their wee groups they have setup to be ‘civic’ Scotland and the hangers on.

People aren’t that stupid; perhaps someone should sit down with Alex Salmond and explain this concept to him.

Has the real panic set in yet Mr. Salmond?

Console yourself by grabbing as much First Minister money, freebies and foreign trips as you can, 'do for Scotland'.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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